File/Sample/Plugin browser

i want to see a file/sample/plugin browser like every other DAW has on the left or right side a bar, from you can drag and drop drum samples(kick, snare, hat, etc) to use in you project, and use effects on audio channel as well. honestly this is the only thing that stops me from using ardour. i would love to see this feature in future release.


You can preview/load samples with the import menu option: Session->Import or Ctrl-I.
Feature requests should be made in the Bug Tracker, otherwise they will likely be forgotten.

i know, but thats not the point. it should be a feature.

Anyway, I get your point. – It’s mostly sequencers and Ableton live-like apps made for sample-based music that provide for a workflow like you describe. Perhaps bitwig or FL Studio or LMMS are better suited to your needs.

Since you can drag/drop samples onto Ardour’s timeline just fine (either from outside or from Ardour’s import-dialog which can be shown on the side – and you can arrange the dialog on screen), I assume that your request is not simply about a “sidebar”, but about everything that a sample-based workflow entails:
ergonomically organize samples, snap to music-grid on drop, keep aligned to music-time, optionally stretch, convenient ways to edit and repeat patterns, etc.

Keep in mind that effect processing in Ardour happens in realtime on a per-track level. You can already drag favorite FX and FX-presets from the mixer-window’s sidebar. On the editor/timeline you can automate effect-parameters and that stays with regions, but there are no fixed “per region” FX.

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actually yes, before this i used to work on fl-studio but recently switched to GNU/Linux and open source software in general, so was looking for the alternative to fl-studio, so i found this guy unfa on youtube from whom i came to know about Ardour. as you mentioned above import dialog can shown on side, can you tell me how can i do that maybe it will help me…

I thought I was crazy. lol I also want this feature XD, it shouldn’t be too difficult for one to fork the project and implement some boogadee coding magic :slight_smile: – I am too spanking new to ardour to have an influence on the minds of the devs, so me can just watch to see what the plans are with the milestone/ideas going into ardour.

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I would actual like if there was native sfz support in Ardour, that would be nice. Essentially all of the sfz players I’ve tried here on debian buster are not capable of running any sfz player (qsampler, jsampler, linuxsampler, carla, << fail with large sfz library files or either do not connect to jack) – my current situation is either face converting things with polyphone and potentially losing sfz features, or go ahead with sforzando as wine-plugin and work with degraded performance. I bought a nice drum sfz library but got caught in this little issue I hope I can fix soon…

Personally I would say a native SFZ player may be a bit outside of Ardour’s scop as a sampler like that is an incredible amount of work to do right in it’s own right. Part of the issue may come down to encryption for commercial libraries for the record for many users, this can be tricky to do correctly in a way that commercial libraries support in open source applications. My own personal thoughts there though.

One slight correct Robin, I believe Logic does have a browser like was mentioned, at least for samples. It has been a while since I used logic, but it used to be a sidebar, not sure if it still is or not. But your point still stands about many others. As Robin mentioned this generally has to do with the purpose of the DAW, and many DAWs that are not composition focused do not have a tool like this yet. Doesn’t mean it isn’t a good request, just that it isn’t every’ DAW.

Just an idea! May be it’s not so hard to transform the Import window to the tab at the existing side panel? Sorry if it’s a stupid assumption :slight_smile:

(As not a programmer I don’t know how much efforts this costs)


Thanks @seablade . I stand corrected.

I agree that a SFZ player is outside of Ardour’s scope. It may at best be bundled with Ardour (like other a-* plugins).

PS. There are plans to streamline Ardour for a sample and pattern based workflow. As I’ve mentioned earlier, that’ll involve a lot more than a sidebar though.

can you tell me how to do it?

“Part of the issue may come down to encryption for commercial libraries for the record for many users, this can be tricky to do correctly in a way that commercial libraries support in open source applications.”

The specs of SFZ is an open format that anybody can use < no encryption opcodes means anybody can open a downloaded sample package and be able to inspect the files using just a text editor and a wave player. Many online shops provide SFZ sample packs with available demos – users can just download them and use them on any platform without any limit. There is no encryption and no reverse-engineering… there are “ARIA” extensions on top of SFZ, and some daw apps (such as Bitwig) base their multisample support off of SFZ but then it is no longer called SFZ.

Most of the groundwork afaict has already been completed by projects like linuxsampler, so I don’t think it’s a bad idea if a project is interested to support it – there’s many opensource communities releasing gigabytes of open licenning for their sfz libraries and so I don’t think it’s a bad idea to suggest it. There are even daw’s and sampler engines (such as bitwig and ARIA) which base their sampler format off SFZ, … it’s good to have SFZ because it offers velocity information for each midi note event, and that is something I would like to have…

currently the front-ends of linuxsampler are broken – the closest thing I can get to it working is with Carla with a croaking frog. << I can’t have this on my track, it’s not good… I need something that can use the linuxsampler library more adequately… I’ll try to see if I can reach the linuxsampler mailinglist and ask them why their linuxsampler is not included in Debian… Because even if I do manage to get linuxsampler as a backend for their “Qsampler” << it never connects to Jack and always wants to grab the Alsa device

— a probable way to temporary solve this is to use an advanced alsa loop device, but this is not easy to do… I then would have to see if my midi keyboard works adequately…

Linuxsampler is not included in Debian because its license is incompatible with their definition of “free”.

My sense is that Linuxsampler is not really that close to full SFZ support, either.

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Carla moved away from linuxsampler (also due to licensing issues and not being able to legally redistribute it), to SFzero. A very recent promising project is

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Correct, but many commercial sample manufacturers that use SFZ add encryption on top of that, such as with the ARIA libs you mention.

Unencrypted vanilla SFZ in itself is still a large amount of work to create a good sample player engine. There are lots of functions with a good sample engine, including built in DSP, basic audio editing, programmatic playback, etc. Some of these functions are useful to some people, some to others. It is a huge effort in it’s own right to create a full featured SFZ player.


:slight_smile: no, no… it’s just the proposal to devs// (made in GIMP&Inkscape!)


thanks for the reply folks

I don’t think it’s reasonable to just attach the import-dialog. First of all it’d be exclusive to region and source-list tabs, create a new vertical size constraint, and it doesn’t really solve any real world issues.

As I suggested earlier, one could just move the dialog there (placing the right half of it off screen), it stays on top.

A proper browser will likely need to be a treeview, highlight previously auditioned samples, perhaps show tempo, key and other meta-data…


lol ok, i got my hopes high for no reason :stuck_out_tongue:

yes, its exactly what i need file/sample browser with tree view and meta data.